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What is LASIK & How Does it Work?
LASIK works by reshaping the front surface of the eye (called the cornea) so the light rays that enter the eye bend in the correct way to give good vision. When a person wears their glasses or contacts, the light rays are altered in front of the eye.
When the cornea is reshaped, the light rays are altered on the surface of the eye. This means with LASIK, the patient enjoys 24/7 vision correction—as compared to glasses or contacts that only provide the correcting effect when the patient is wearing lenses.
LASIK for Nearsightedness
When a person is nearsighted, the eye is anatomically too long for the shape of that person’s cornea; therefore, the rays of light fall short of the person’s retina. This results in blurry vision for the patient.
To correct this blurry vision, a patient can wear corrective lenses or potentially have LASIK. With LASIK, the corneal surface is flattened with a cool laser beam to alter the path of the light rays. This results in rays of light landing in focus onto the retina, providing a clear picture of the world to the patient.
LASIK for Farsightedness
When a person is farsighted the opposite is true for the cornea and the rays of light. The eye is anatomically too short for the shape of that person’s cornea; therefore, the rays of light fall behind the person’s retina. To correct this blurry vision, a patient can wear corrective lenses or potentially have LASIK.
With LASIK, the corneal surface is steepened with a cool laser beam to alter the path of the light rays. This results in rays of light landing in focus onto the retina, giving a clear picture of the world to the patient.
LASIK for Astigmatism
When a person has astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball, causing distortion to both distance and near vision. With LASIK, the corneal surface is reshaped to be spherical so the light rays bend correctly to focus the light, resulting in a clearer picture of the world.
The team at 20/20 Institute has always believed that using leading-edge technology is critical to patient safety, satisfaction and overall visual outcomes. One of the most groundbreaking shifts in LASIK technology has been the evolution of bladeless LASIK. In bladeless LASIK, a femtosecond laser rather than a handheld instrument is used to perform the first step of the procedure: the creation of the corneal flap.
Not only do patients experience greater peace of mind knowing that the flaps are created with a computer-controlled laser (instead of a handheld blade), but our surgeons find that laser-created flaps are more precise, predictable and consistent. Laser-created flaps also return to their original position on the cornea after surgery very quickly, resulting in expedited recovery and healing times for our patients.
When it comes to the second part of the procedure — the reshaping of the cornea — we use the EX500 excimer laser, which is an excellent match for delicate procedures like LASIK. The excimer laser creates clean, precise cuts and removes microscopic amounts of corneal tissue while leaving the remainder of the tissue intact. To put it in perspective, the EX500 is so precise that it can divide a grain of sand into 1,000 pieces. By precisely reshaping and smoothing the cornea, the excimer laser helps us to improve the way light enters the eye and is focused on the retina.
The EX500 has other special features, such as a tracking mechanism that can track your eye 5,000 times per second; if your eye moves even the smallest bit during the treatment, the laser will shut down until your eye returns to the proper position.
Recovering from LASIK
After your procedure, the surgeon will check and make sure everything is in perfect position by looking at your eye under a magnifying microscope called a slit lamp. Then, we will release you to go home. Your vision will be blurry and your eyes might be puffy, watery or sensitive to light. You must arrange transportation ahead of time, as you will not be able to drive yourself.
Once you arrive home, you should nap or rest for three to four hours or for the remainder of the night if your procedure is done in the evening. Our team will give you protective eye shields to wear to protect your eyes as you sleep. You should plan to wear them while sleeping for the first week after your surgery.
Some patients experience mild burning or itching as the numbing eyedrops wear off. We will provide you with special eyedrops to help lubricate your eyes, but you must be careful to avoid rubbing them as your corneal flap heals. You may also experience temporary visual problems like mild glare, halos around lights and sensitivity to light.
You can expect to have a follow-up appointment with our team the day after your surgery, so we can check your recovery progress and ensure your eyes are healing properly. The majority of our patients are able to see well enough the day after surgery to drive themselves to their appointment.
Any aftereffects should subside within a few days and your visual results should become more apparent as the weeks go by. You will check in with our team over a period of one year to ensure your eyes are recovering properly.
LASIK is a wonderful procedure that has been life changing for thousands of our patients. We would love to start that journey with you today. Please call us at (317) 202-0669 or send us an email today to schedule your free consultation.